A Meditation on Waiting

For my husband and me, the last few months have been a season of waiting. In his work and in mine, large, unanswered questions loom. And although we continue working as hard as ever–harder, even–we have no guarantee that our work will yield what we want it to. This idea of work coming without a guarantee is a universal truth, I suppose, but it’s much more obvious in bad economic times than in good. And besides the ups and downs of our work, Rory and I wait anxiously, and often grievingly, to see what recovery my sister might still be able to make from her spinal injury last April. Much more joyfully, we also wait for the arrival of our first grandchild in a few weeks.

Our pastor, Eric Jacobsen, encourages our congregation to look at waiting as a spiritual discipline, a time of trusting God and preparing to accept whatever outcome He sends. This is not easy, but I know Eric’s counsel is right. In the Latin-based languages, the word for waitis the same as the word for hope. Often this has struck me as strange, because sometimes waiting inspires a lot more dread than hope. But ultimately, I think, believing in a good God turns all waiting into hope, even if the hope is mingled with pain.

Waiting, in its redeemed form, is hope. “And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts . . .” (Romans 5:5).

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